Close to the Heart ~ haibun

Close to the Heart

Specialists tell me it’s not all there, my interatrial septum. Blood that should be routed to my lungs to be filtered can, instead, be passed through that barrier. Flow in one direction can cause oxygen-rich blood to join blood going to the lungs, overtaxing them. Flowing in the other direction, blood that needs to be filtered by the lungs will join blood destined for the brain, which can lead to mayhem.

More than sixty-five years of my life passed before this was discovered. By a stroke of luck, my one stroke was minor. When it passed through the hole in my heart, a tiny clot that could have come from any injury did reach my brain, but its effect was minor. The hole can be closed with surgery, but with a high risk of complications due to my age – so I accept this defect as a part of my whole.

sparrow drinks
from fresh fallen rain
leaving rings

This is my response to Haibun Monday 1/30/23: Heart

Per Wikipedia:

Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a congenital heart defect in which blood flows between the atria (upper chambers) of the heart. Some flow is a normal condition both pre-birth and immediately post-birth via the foramen ovale; however, when this does not naturally close after birth it is referred to as a patent (open) foramen ovale (PFO). It is common in patients with a congenital atrial septal aneurysm (ASA) – a bulging in the septum (or barrier) between the atria, which I also have.

Image
Detailed chambers of the heart & PFO illustration – © Mayo Clinic
(click image to see larger view in new tab)

Read another poem about my PFO here.

Daily Task ~ memento

Daily Task

In hands both worn and never still
a simple watch was held
before

the daily tasks could be fulfilled
and all life’s worries felled.
And more

than that in times severe and lean,
each day it was resolved
that time

and labor served without machine
would take away the pall,
align.

This is my response to Meeting the Bar: Memento, the prompt from Grace at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem in the memento form or about a memento. I have done both, writing about a daily occurrence (though not a holiday or anniversary) involving a particular object, a pocket watch that was my grandfather’s and handed down to my father (and then to me). My grandfather was a laborer all of his life, one that was mostly consumed by hard times.

Memento: The form was created by Emily Romano and is a poem about a holiday or an anniversary, consisting of two stanzas as follows: the syllable count should be 8 beats for line one; 6 beats for line two; and two beats for line three. This is repeated twice for each stanza. The rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/a/b/c for each of the two stanzas.

 

Cold Shoulder ~ quadrille

Cold Shoulder

What separates us
does not make us better.
Even the thinnest
layer of ice threatens
to shatter all that we’ve built.

Words left unspoken,
never allowed
to reach the surface,
only serve to strengthen
the divide, remove
the chance to heal.

Speak to me.

 

This is my response to Quadrille #168,
the prompt from Mish at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
which is to use a form of the word ice in a Quadrille – a 44-word poem
(excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

 

At Home ~ gogyohka ~ senryū

At Home

What is a trip to a place left behind,
one that always lives in my heart?
Have I returned home when I visit there,
or when I leave?

This is my response to Twiglet #308: returned home.
As an exercise, I have also written this as a gogyohka and a senryū.
(Also shared with Colleen’s #TankaTuesday
Weekly #Poetry Challenge No. 303, Senryū.)

always present

a trip to a place left behind
always in my heart
at home in two places
past and present as one
never gone

 

have I returned home
when I visit the past
or when the trip ends?

Senryū are similar to haiku, but they tend to be about human nature, rather than nature.

Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh)
 ~ a form of Japanese poetry pioneered by Enta Kusakabe in the 1950s
 ~ 5-line poetry ~ like tanka, but with freedom from restraints
 ~ no fixed syllable requirement
 ~ no conventions regarding content
 ~ brief lines in keeping with the tradition of Japanese short verse

Words of Healing ~ gogyohka & sijo

collection of poems
in heartfelt delivery
friends from near and far
hear labor of love in words
poetry reading

I wrote a gogyohka this morning, then realized
I could use the same theme to write a sijo to respond to
Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Challenge #44: Overcome.

Words of Healing

Searching both heart and soul,
       a poet finds words of healing.

Held close at first, they come alive
       when read to a circle of friends.

Recovery follows loss,
       as a gentle rain quenches a drought.

How a Heart Heals ~ quadrille

How a Heart Heals

Long held in self-imposed darkness,
removed from all past pain,
a heart boldly wills itself to open
to possibilities, that light of day
might reveal a world open to it,
return to it a joy long lost,
that it might once more know love.

 

This is my response to Q44 #167 – To BOLD-ly Go,
the prompt from De Jackson at dVerse ~ Poets Pub,
which is to use a form of the word bold in a Quadrille – a 44-word poem
(excluding title), with no required meter or rhyme.

 

an old path ~ senryū

an old path
in early morning light
new meaning

This senryū is my response to Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Weekly
Poetry Challenge No. 301, Synonyms: New & Experience.

I was so focused on the fact that I used “old path” for “experience” and “early morning light” for “new” that I overlooked the fact that I actually used “new” in the third line of this senryū.

So… here’s another senryū

this old path
in early morning light
leads forward

Shared with Open Link Night #329 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

I Was Never There

I Was Never There

Traveling this lonely highway,
occasional headlights
the only break in the darkness,
I count oncoming white lines
as they flash before me,
pass beneath me, each one
as familiar to me as the numbers
on my dash that measure my progress.

My surroundings may be
hidden by the darkness,
but I’m not lost. I’ve traveled
this road so many times
that every curve wraps itself
around me. The rumble strip
knows my name, warns me
when the siren of sleep beckons.

Longing to reach the other end,
I wonder if the road is all there is.
Am I meant to be anywhere
but where I am, passed by mile marker
after mile marker, the road passing
beneath me while I remain
stationary, one more element
in the night, yet never really there?

 

This is my response to Poetics: Are you listening? – the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem that uses two titles from a provided list of podcasts, keeping all words in order and changing only punctuation, if necessary. My poem includes “Rumble Strip” and “Not Lost.” Also, I’ve used another podcast title, “I Was Never There,” as my title.